Story by Abka-Fitz Henley and Lisa Williams
The war of words between National Security Minister, Peter Bunting and the opposition Jamaica Labour Party over the country’s murder figures is intensifying this afternoon.
Minister Bunting is coming under fire for his verbal attack on the JLP for its criticism of his management of the crime portfolio.
The Minister has infuriated labourites by likening some of them to John Crows, given their alarm over the rising murder rate.
Opposition Spokesman on National Security, Derrick Smith, says that if Bunting was was well brought up, he would know that he must retract this comment which he made on the political platform yesterday.
Addressing an emergency media briefing this afternoon at the JLP’s Belmont Road Headquarters, the Opposition Spokesman said Peter Bunting was arrogant, abusive and vulgar.
Mr. Smith says Bunting chose to rant in a misguided way.
He says the Opposition was not informed that the Minister was off the island when parliament convened for its weekly sitting last week.
But he says regardless, the Opposition had to do its job and seek answers regarding the 45-murders which he says took place in Bunting’s absence.
Yesterday, the Security Minister accused his Opposition counterpart of scare mongering.
Today, the Opposition Spokesman upped the ante and declared that he’s shocked at what he reported to be a 22-percent increase in murders this year.
Mr. Smith insisted that the Security Minister should retract his controversial remarks.
He declared that he’ll not be intimidated by Peter Bunting.
In the meantime, the youth arm of the JLP, Young Jamaica, says Minister Bunting has gone too far.
The President of Young Jamaica, Howard Chamberlain says the Minister’s comment is an insult to those Jamaicans affected by the high rate of violent crime.
Mr. Chamberlain says Minister Bunting would be better served discussing plans to arrest the spike in murders.